Today I’d like to share with you a story. It’s not my story, but one that will encourage you to tell your story.
I sat across the table from a local businessman as he shared his story with me. We first talked a couple years ago when a mutual friend said we had some desires in common to serve hurting people. Last week another friend connected us for the same reason. This was a meeting ordained by God.
My new friend grew up in a home with his mom and dad who were alcoholics. There was abuse and pain all through his early years that led to his own drinking and drug use. He finally ended up in jail. It wasn’t an easy story to hear.
God was real to him not because he knew Christians or had gone to church. When things at home got rough, he would grab his Bible and hide in the closet or under his bed. This man shared how as a young child even before he could read he found peace in having the word of God in his hands. It wasn’t until his early 20’s and the threat of a long time in jail that God would change his life.
As I listened to his story this 50 something year old man with a scruffy beard and worn hands told me how God began to bless his life of building. It was God who not only saved him and changed him, but daily in the big city where he would go to the local shelter and hire day laborers who were addicts, alcoholics and prostitutes. During the day he would share God’s story and his story with them.
He told me of how God changed several lives as he dealt with them. How awesome to hear this story of how God used a simple man to share with those that most of society had written off. I was touched by his story.
I was also reminded that we serve God who gives greater grace and second chances. God pursues people and offers them life. God gave His son for our eternal life and gives hope for every day life. This story reminded me to not overlook the people who come in and out of our lives.
Every day we meet people who are hurting or have a need or both. I recently met Travis who is homeless. Rachel began volunteering at our church this week in order to work off court fines. Clay is an older man that we met last week, and God is softening his heart. And the names and stories continue to flow.
God’s desire is to change lives. That is why we must share our stories. We must tell others our story. My story is just that… it’s mine and speaks of what God has done in my life. It also speaks to how He will do that again in the lives of others we share with.
Romans 5:15 NLT
But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ.
Luke 18:1 NLT
One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.
Psalm 145:7 NLT
Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness.